Senator Gatchalian Proposes Bill to Ban Gadgets During Class Hours

Senator Gatchalian Files Bill Seeking Cellphone Ban in Basic Education

CELLPHONE BAN – Senator Gatchalian has filed a bill seeking to ban the use of cellphones in basic education classes.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has introduced Senate Bill 2706, aiming to prohibit the use of mobile devices and other electronic gadgets during class hours from kindergarten to senior high school in both public and private schools.

Despite acknowledging the benefits of technology, Gatchalian noted in his explanatory statement that these devices can cause distractions that negatively impact learning, especially for younger students.

Senator Gatchalian

As the chair of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, he points out research from other countries showing that excessive mobile device use harms student performance. He pointed out that excessive phone use is related to lower grades and scores.

The lawmaker explained that it not only affects students’ academic performance directly but also hinders the development of essential skills and cognitive abilities necessary for academic success.

“First, it affects performance directly as greater use of a phone while studying is correlated with a greater negative impact on grades or scores. Second, it affects performance indirectly because the learners’ skills and cognitive abilities needed for academic success are also negatively affected by excessive phone use,” Gatchalian said.

Senator Gatchalian

80% of Filipino students aged 15 who participated in the 2022 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) admitted to using their smartphones as a distraction in class, according to Gatchalian’s analysis of Philippine data.

Furthermore, eighty percent of pupils said that other students’ phone use distracted them. According to the data, these types of distractions are associated with a 9.3-point, 12.2-point, and 15.04-point decline in performance in math, science, and reading.

Gatchalian also emphasized that easy access to mobile devices makes students more vulnerable to cyberbullying. He argued that restricting gadget use during class hours is important to balancing technology use and promoting effective learning.

The proposed ban would also apply to teachers and faculty members during teaching hours, with exceptions for learning-related activities, health and well-being, and risk management.

Students who violate school policies related to gadget use would also be subject to appropriate disciplinary actions.

In a previous report, Senator Gatchalian eyes ban on cellphone use inside classrooms

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Senator Gatchalian

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